June 2019 Cheese Club SelectionBack To Our Club
June 2019 Cheese Club Selection
The June 2019 Cheese Club Selection is in celebration of winter and some outstanding mountain melters.
Vacherin Le Duc
This soft surface-ripened, washed-rind cheese is made in the mountains of the Franche-Comte region of France. Based on the famous seasonal spruce bound cheeses of the region but available all year and made from pasteurised milk, it is bound with a thin ring of traditional bark skilfully cut from the local spruce trees during the summer months. Chalky and mild when young, it is best enjoyed close to the use-by date when the smooth pinkish rind starts to ripple and bulge, and the inside softens to a rich creamy melt-in-the-mouth texture with just a hint of the forest.
L'Artisan Mountain Man
Third generation cheese maker Matthieu Megard uses local organic milk from a single herd of Jersey cows to make his range of cheeses. Longing for the traditional cheeses of the French Alps where he grew up, Matthieu set out to make cheeses that reflected the local Victorian terroir whilst capturing the essence of some of France’s most loved cheeses. This oozy pungent beauty from is in the style of the classic French Reblochon. Flavours are rich, creamy and slightly meaty and work perfectly in the dish tartiflette. Pair with dry white wines.
Vacherin Fribourgeois is a semi-hard raw milk cheese made high up in the Canton of Fribourg, where the Fribourgeois (the local name for Holstein) cattle graze on open Swiss alpine summer pastures studded with lush grass and wild flowers. This translates vividly into the flavours of the resulting cheeses, which are lively, nutty and floral, becoming very full-bodied towards late summer. Vacherin Fribourgeois is a true artisanal cheese, being made by only a small number of cheesemakers. Cheeses are pressed and uncooked and have a washed rind that is cured for between three and four months. It is a painstaking and ancient method, with repeated washings and turnings. This process develops a thick, brown-grey-red, undulating rind, with an underlying cross-hatch pattern and tinges of yellow, grey or pink. The paste is light yellow and very smooth, often with eyes and/or some slits. Vacherin Fribourgeois is a key component in Fondue Suisse, using a recipe known has Moitie-Moitie, meaning half Vacherin, half Swiss Gruyere.
Gruyère has been produced by local co-ops and dairies in the western, French speaking area of Switzerland since at least 1115. Milk for production comes from the Fribourgeois cows that are owned by the co-operative dairies. There are strict rules surrounding the animals' diet because of the effect it has on the milk, and therefore cheese production. Milk is usually delivered twice daily from farms within a 12 mile radius. Although evening milk is held overnight and milk from the second milking is sometimes skimmed, all milk must be less than 18 hours old at the start of cheesemaking. Cheeses are made using cultured, raw cow's milk and production typically occurs in an open copper vat. The resulting cheeses are aged for a minimum of 10 months during which time they develop a sweet, perfectly balanced flavour with floral, fruity and nutty notes. The texture is silky smooth, with an even distribution of crunchy protein crystals.